Two arrested after stealing more than $50,000 from veteran to buy drugs, police say

By STEPHEN RUIZ | Orlando Sentinel | Published: May 16, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — Two people were arrested after they depleted a DeLand, Florida, military veteran's bank account to support their drug habit, according to the city's police department.

Gregory Dushan, 28, and Jessica Henry, 31, stole more than $50,000, as well as property, from an 82-year-old U.S. Coast Guard veteran, officers said.

"Both suspects in this case intentionally coerced and deliberately deceived the victim causing him to deplete his bank account to support their drug habit," the release said. "The victim was then notified by the bank that his account had a negative balance, which prompted him to want to kill himself, because he felt this was his only solution."

Police officers first were notified about this case by the Veterans Crisis Center on May 8, the police said.

Henry initially met the victim about three years ago. About six months ago, she contacted him and said she needed to pay for a urine test after being arrested, the police department said. A man, later identified as Dushan, then demanded money from the veteran for probation costs, the cops said.

The veteran received phone calls from Dushan daily, threatening him with jail time if he did not pay and also claiming his vehicle would be taken, the DeLand police said. The victim gave Henry his vehicle, but it has since been recovered, according to the release.

Henry and Dushan were charged with exploiting an elderly person between the amounts of $20,000 and $100,000. Dushan also is charged with impersonating a correction/probation officer.

More charges are possible.

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